Pregunta: ¿Sabe Jesús quién regresará a la presencia de Dios?

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Pregunta: ¿Sabe Jesús quién regresará a la presencia de Dios?


In the lack of a revealed answer to the question, both positions appear to be acceptable alternatives for faithful, believing Latter-day Saints

In Sunday School today somebody said that Jesus Christ knew from the pre-existence who would return to Heavenly Father's presence. Some class members disagreed with that opinion and we couldn't reach a final answer, and we were unable to find a scripture to confirm that comment. The person said that "Jesus knows everything, from the beginning to the end, and therefore he knows who will be returning to God's presence." Could you help me with this issue?

Este es un tema doctrinal o teológica sobre la que no hay doctrina oficial de la Iglesia de la cual FairMormon es consciente. Los líderes y miembros hayan expresado diversas opiniones o posiciones. Al igual que todo el material en FairMormon Respuestas, que refleja los mejores esfuerzos de los voluntarios FairMormon, no una posición oficial de la Iglesia.

Absolute foreknowledge is the more common view held by members of the Church. Most who hold this view don't consider the theological problems it raises, but those who do claim that both absolute foreknowledge and omniscience are fully compatible with both human agency and genuine petitionary prayer. A minority of Church members reject that view and believe that God knows all that is possible to know, but does not have a perfect knowledge of future events, since having such knowledge is not logically possible. In this view, God knows everything that it is possible to know, but agency leaves areas in which the outcome is not certain. Those who hold this view must conclude that God may occasionally be surprised at the way some things turn out, a conclusion which raises theological problems of its own.

In the lack of a revealed answer to the question, both positions appear to be acceptable alternatives for faithful, believing Latter-day Saints.

The question raised by this question is one that is hotly debated both among Mormons and Christians in general

There is no definitive answer in the scriptures, and both sides marshal evidence to support their views.

James Faulconer summed up the situation:

Modern scripture speaks unequivocally of the foreknowledge of God: "All things are present before mine eyes" (DC 38:2). It affirms that God has a fulness of truth, a "knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come" (DC 93:24, emphasis added).

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In an attempt to reconcile divine foreknowledge and human freedom, major Jewish and Christian theologians and philosophers have offered three alternatives.

[1] In the first, both horns of the dilemma are affirmed: "Everything is foreseen, and freedom of choice is given." This is the position of Rabbi Akiba and Maimonides (Aboth 3, 19; Yad, Teshuvah 5:5), as well as of Augustine and Anselm (City of God 5.9–10; The Harmony of the Foreknowledge, the Predestination, and the Grace of God with Free Choice 1.3). Maimonides argues that though it is logically impossible for human foreknowledge of one's actions to be compatible with freedom, God's foreknowledge, which is of a different and mysterious kind, is compatible with freedom.

[2] In the second, God's foreknowledge is limited. Since people are free, God knows the possibilities and probabilities of human choice, but not the inevitabilities. God is omniscient in knowing all that can be known; but not in knowing beforehand exactly how people will use their freedom, since that cannot be known because future, contingent events do not exist. This is the view of the Talmudist Gersonides (Levi Ben Gershon, 1288-1344; Milhamot Adonai, III, 6) and, with some modifications, of Charles Hartshorne and process philosophers.

[3] In the third, humans are not genuinely free. Freedom is an illusion that arises from human ignorance of divine cause and necessity. All that individuals do is actually determined and predetermined. God both pre-knows and pre-causes all that occurs. This is the view of Spinoza and Calvin.

Historically, most Latter-day Saints have taken the first general position: everything is foreseen and freedom remains. Some have taken the second, that God's foreknowledge is not absolute. The third alternative, that human freedom is illusory, is incompatible with LDS belief in genuine agency and responsibility. Praise and blame, accountability and judgment, are meaningless unless humans are free. Any doctrine of foreknowledge that undercuts this principle violates the spirit and letter of LDS scripture.[1]

The dilemma is also discussed, from a more scientific point of view, in the FAIRwiki article on "Free Will".

A Faulconer states, most Latter-day Saints hold to unlimited foreknowledge

A Faulconer states, most Latter-day Saints hold to unlimited foreknowledge. This has been the traditional view of most Christians since the post-New Testament period, and it is one doctrine that Joseph Smith didn't seem to question, as there are no revelations that address it. Indeed, it appears that most LDS leaders and scholars simply haven't questioned its veracity.

A few LDS leaders have taken a stance against any limitations in God's knowledge. Probably the strongest statement has been from Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who listed limited foreknowledge as the first of "seven deadly heresies":

There are those who say that God is progressing in knowledge and is learning new truths.

This is false—utterly, totally, and completely. There is not one sliver of truth in it. It grows out of a wholly twisted and incorrect view of the King Follett Sermon and of what is meant by eternal progression.

God progresses in the sense that his kingdoms increase and his dominions multiply—not in the sense that he learns new truths and discovers new laws. God is not a student. He is not a laboratory technician. He is not postulating new theories on the basis of past experiences. He has indeed graduated to that state of exaltation that consists of knowing all things and having all power.

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Eternal progression consists of living the kind of life God lives and of increasing in kingdoms and dominions everlastingly. Why anyone should suppose that an infinite and eternal being who has presided in our universe for almost 2,555,000,000 years, who made the sidereal heavens, whose creations are more numerous than the particles of the earth, and who is aware of the fall of every sparrow--why anyone would suppose that such a being has more to learn and new truths to discover in the laboratories of eternity is totally beyond my comprehension.[2]

Other Latter-day Saints have pointed out that absolute foreknowledge raises particular problems with the concept of agency and the efficacy of petitionary prayer

Other Latter-day Saints have pointed out that absolute foreknowledge raises particular problems with the concept of agency and the efficacy of petitionary prayer. If God knew from all eternity exactly what any of us would do at any given time, then it is difficult to claim we have agency in any legitimate sense. As Blake Ostler put it:

The modern argument showing that free will is not compatible with foreknowledge is based on the fixity of the past or, in other words, the principle that no person can have power to do anything which entails that God has not always believed what God has in fact always believed. Suppose that God has always believed that I will rob a 7-Eleven at a certain time t. My refraining from robbing the 7-Eleven at time t certainly entails that God has not always believed that I will rob at t. Because God has always believed that I will rob the 7-Eleven at t, I cannot have the power to refrain from robbing, since this power would entail power to change God's past beliefs. No person has the power to alter the past. Yet to be free with respect to whether I rob, I must have power to refrain from robbing the 7-Eleven at t. It follows that either God does not have foreknowledge or I am not free.[3]

Similarly, if God has absolute foreknowledge then it is difficult to make sense of petitionary prayer. The whole idea behind petitionary prayer is that by praying we can invoke God's help in situations where he would not have given it if we had not asked—in essence, we're trying to change his mind about something ("I wasn't going to help them, but since they asked...."). If God has absolute foreknowledge from all eternity, then not even he could alter the future, for to do so would be to falsify his prior foreknowledge, and it wouldn't be true anymore. For example, you will either find your lost keys or you won't; praying about it cannot possibly change that outcome if God has absolute foreknowledge. Therefore, on this view petitionary prayer is useless because God cannot be persuaded to act differently to change the outcome.



  1. James E. Faulconer, "Foreknowledge of God," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 1:521-522. off-site (Inglés) off-site (Inglés)
  2. Plantilla:7heresies
  3. Plantilla:FR-8-2-9